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[graphic] Masonic Temple
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[photo] Masonic Temple
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

This three-story, random coursed Sioux quartzite building was completed in 1893 for $20,000 to house the Masonic Bodies Meeting Rooms. The Masons used the building as their headquarters until 1917 when the group moved to the Ferris Grand Block at 106 E. Main Street. The Masons existed as a fraternal organization that served the needs of the community through its kinship network. The rounded spheres located on the top corners represent the terrestrial and celestial globes of the universe--one of the many lessons of Masonry. The building also has a corbelled cornice with corner finials, jasper beltcourses and jasper segmental arches and imposts accenting the third-story window openings. A leading Pipestone citizen, J. M. Poorbaugh, who at the time owned one of the stone quarries, oversaw the stonework. In 1901, an outdoor stairway, which has since been removed, was placed in the west front corner leading to the barber shop and cigar factory located in the basement.

Historic sketch of Masonic Temple, 1894
Courtesy of Pipestone County Historical Society

The Masons raised money to decorate and furnish their meeting rooms, located on the third floor, which remained there until 1917. The first floor was divided into two stores, with a hardware store located in the east unit until 1945 and later moved to the west unit until 1977. Although the sizes of the first floor stores have been changed several times, two stores have always occupied the building. The third floor was used for the manufacture of ladies clothing, house dresses and aprons for a short time during 1919 to 1920. The third floor, although unused for many years retains its tin ceiling and original room arrangement.

The Masonic Temple Building is located at 120-122 West Main St., Pipestone. It is currently empty and not open to the public.

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